By Evan Gelman
(Calgary) – Rachel Simantov, a CJA student in grade 9, is headed to the National Science Fair.
Every year the Calgary Jewish Academy has a delegation of students representing their school at the Calgary Youth Science Fair (CYSF). The CYSF is the largest local science fair in Canada, totaling to over 500 project submissions. Out of all submissions, Rachel stood out from the crowd. Her project, titled Framework of Optimal Pandemic Management, models a pandemic management system blending aspects of science, finance and social justice. The algorithm that she developed could help officials find the most cost effective ways for deploying vaccines and medication for any infectious disease, increasing counties’ abilities to send medical aid to the areas that need it most.
In addition to heading to the National Science Fair, Rachel also received a gold medal for her project and a plethora of awards including: University of Calgary Schulich School of Engineering First; CYSF Travel Award; CYSF Top Intermediate Award; and University of Calgary Office of the Chancellor’s Award.
The University of Calgary Office of the Chancellor’s Award goes to the top overall project from all divisions within the CYSF. Rachel’s project will move forward to the 2022 Canada Wide Science Fair.
As Rachel prepares, she has many ideas for future applications from her research. She is working on a strategy for global allocation of COVID-19 vaccine in Africa, which honours equality and yields sustainable coexistence with COVID-19 across countries. Her strategy is aligned with the OECD Policy responses on COVID-19 and will potentially increase the effectiveness of Canada’s donations of vaccines worldwide.
For Rachel, having the ability to showcase her work at the National Science Fair is the first step to her helping more people gain access to vaccines worldwide.